Metal-Carbon Bonds in Nature

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Science  27 Oct 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5236, pp. 587-588
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5236.587


In contrast to most metabolic processes, but similar to some industrial catalysts, vitamin B12 contains a cobalt-active species and is sometimes referred to as “nature's organometallic catalyst.” Kovacs et al. provide background and commentary to accompany the research report by Kumar et al. (p. 628) describing a second organometallic intermediate in biology—an active nickel species that serves as a precursor to acetic acid through its reaction with carbon monoxide and acetyl-CoA synthase.